all aboard the fat bus

before i start recapping this week’s “top model,” a caveat: i woke up at 6am this morning. i got maybe five & a half hours of sleep. i am about to dive into my second cup of coffee, but i have been in rare form all morning. i already concocted a complex fantasy in which samuel beckett returned from the dead due to the machinations of a hot tub time machine & got signed to the red sox (as a pitcher) & then faced off against imaginary pitcher jeff greinke (an ambient jazz musician who has recorded with the likes of brian eno) for the kansas city royals, & whoever lost the game would get shot in the chest by the guy who mans the alarmingly phallic hot dog gun at the kansas city stadium. this was no fever dream: jared turns thirty next weekend & we are hoping to celebrate by seeing the red sox play the royals in kansas city on april 10. i don’t often share my rich fantasy life on my blog, but i spend a lot of time concocting absurd “what if” scenarios. another popular one in our household these days involves charlotte (our cat) going to cat day at adventureland, an amusement park in des moines, iowa, & being really disappointed by it. (obviously, there is no cat day at adventureland, & neither jared nor i has ever been to adventureland, so we don’t know if it sucks or not). i have big plans to make an embroidered sampler that features charlotte’s face & the legend, “adventureland totally sucks.”

the point: i am punchy. let’s see how this goes.

previously on “top model,” we re-live the magic of alasia’s nude photo shoot & her weeping as nigel reprimands her for her unflattering pose, though cutie pie gabrielle gets the boot thanks to andre leon talley’s salon de capriciousness. & then naduah dulled the edge of her hairless scalp with tired, predictable poses & sent packing back home to cancun fashion week & racial fetishization home photo shoots with her hubby. eleven girls remain.

allow me a moment to voice my extreme displeasure with the new opening sequence. there is altogether TOO MUCH of tyra in hideous skin-colored jumpsuits & leotards, multiplying kaleidoscopically in time to a thoroughly unacceptable new theme song. & the girls are all dressed up in their make-over finest, which is to say, they are the unholy bastard children of a “get in shape, girl” commercial from 1985 & the hamburglar. MY EYES!

the ladies return to the house from panel & admire raina’s great bukkake perfume ad. brenda frets over her poor performance last week & we re-live the judge’s critique in glorious sepia tone. brenda reports that she misses her daughter & her “extreme” haircut is giving her an identity crisis. she says she needs a good picture this week as she unloads the dishwasher while wearing recycled maternity pants.

ren also laments her unfortunate photo from last week. sepia!nigel says that it looks like an ad for H1N1 vaccine. great. now ren is going to be struggling with crazy lady drama in the house & she’s going to have jenny mccarthy all up in her grill too. whilst showcasing an eye-watering shade of lipstick, ren trots out the worst (read: most boring) canned sob story this show has seen since cycle five nicole suffered the slings & arrows of feeling the her sister was prettier than her: apparently it is ren’s mother’s dream for ren to be a model, & she only started being nice to ren after ren was chosen to be on “america’s next top model”. her evidence? when mommy dearest heard that ren got on the show, she offered to take ren to the mall to buy some nice clothes. but when they got to the register, mom “got a call” & left ren to pay for everything single-handedly. so heartless! so cruel! how dare this demon woman make a 22-year-old pay for her own clothing! i don’t even know if i can keep watching if i am going to be vicariously subjected to this kind of emotional brutality. especially because ren is wearing a knock-off members only jacket in this sequence.

ren says that she likes modeling, but has apparently never seen “top model” & was not prepared for the drama in the house.

the ladies receive a tyra mail & discover that they are soon to be tested on their industry knowledge. i’d love to see a quick cut to tatianna (who thought megan fox was a supermodel), but no dice. instead, we hear from anslee, who is relishing the opportunity to be on the show & insists that the flexible schedule of an international supermodel would work well for her because she’s a mom. because babies love to fly? oh, because she’s used to sleep deprivation & getting up in the middle of the night.

simone wears a ruffly pirate wench blouse & applies deodorant while telling us that she abandoned school & $25,000 in tuition to be on the show. “modeling is what i want to do,” she says, “it’s a model basic.” what?

then the fat bus rolls up. remember cycle nine, when tyra made everyone quit smoking & they got to shoots & challenges in an allegedly environmentally-friendly vehicle (which i hope was powered by french fry grease, because i love the idea of making aspiring models quit smoking & then tempting them with the smell of french fries everyday)? yeah, that didn’t last long, did it? the “fab bus” (but it seriously sounds like they’re saying “fat bus” every single time) is an enormous tour bus, like motley crue style. the ladies board & appreciate the glittery blue & red seats. raina dances.

& then toccara (cycle three) appears, clad in a sparkly gold tank dress. alexandra is excited because toccara is also a plussie (though a stint on “celebrity fit club” slimmed her down a bit). i had never realized until just now how unbelievably whiny toccara’s voice is. & tragically, she is there to put the girls through their paces as she presides over a modeling industry trivia game, sponsored by “laugh-in” style music plays while toccara runs through her copy. there will be a red team & a blue team, with raina (last week’s best photo winner) assisting toccara by holding up a scoreboard WWF-style. the winning team will receive $500 bluefly gift cards, & the team plus raina will get to go on a go-see in an attempt to land a spot in bluefly’s spring campaign. whoever gets the job will get a $2500 bluefly gift card. this would be a better prize if bluefly didn’t specialize in over-priced designer pieces. hot pink lettering tries to sell me on the fact that “this is a fierce prize,” but i won’t be manipulated so easily! the losers also get something, to be revealed. please let it be cholera!

krista feels confident because she feels she knows the business. anslee is on board with feeling that this is a “fierce” prize, but is concerned that she got stuck with some duds as teammates: she specifically calls out alasia for being young, & brenda for being easily stressed. she’s also on the same team as ren & tatianna. i don’t really see them standing a chance. simone interviews that she really wants this prize: “to be guaranteed a national campaign in the first couple of rounds would be great.” you think?

there is no explanation of why this trivia game must transpire on a bus. maybe just for the fun & satisfaction of burning fuel? am i alone in wishing it was like a pub trivia night, & the winners get to pelt the losers with hot onion rings?

the first question is essentially a continuation of advertising for bluefly. their product placement dollars are keeping tyra well-stocked in unflattering jumpsuits this season. the red team (anslee’s team) achieves an early lead, but the blue team soon ties them. the tie-breaking question comes down to a battle of wits between brenda & simone, & simone scrapes the win while brenda stands there, looking blank (question: “which of these iconic models is host of ‘germany’s next top model’? heidi klum, christie brinkley, iman, or someone else who is totally not at all german?”). the blue team celebrates their win (angelea with a terrifying booty quiver) while anslee vows to show brenda the wrath of methface.

the blue team goes to bluefly headquarters with their portfolios. they are dressed up in designer duds & sent in to walk & talk. raina goes first, in an utterly impractical white minidress. the bluefly ladies love her face, but interview that spring is all about short skirts & shorts & therefore, legs matter. in other words, raina’s a little badonk-a-donk for their needs. jessica, however, in her strapless sundress, is deemed too thin for spring’s revealing looks, & without enough face to make up the difference. seriously, jessica: turkey on sourdough with honey mustard. try it, it’s delicious.

the red team is introduced to the vengeance for their relative ignorance of the modeling industry: they must toil in an enormous cage, weighing & measuring hundreds of boxes of bluefly wares that they will never be able to afford. anslee gets her methface on to hate on brenda a little more, while brenda announces that she will require the services of an assistant to note the measurements she makes. brenda really is annoying, but she seems more like a mellow, clueless, pot-smoking mom than crazy methface anslee.

angelea meets the bluefly ladies in a cute tank & spring skirt. they praise her “interesting” face, but things go south when they ask her to strike a few poses for them. she pops a bicep & tries to smile & it’s awesomely bad, but i can’t help but lament the loss of comedy we could have enjoyed with performance artist/resident saboteur alasia in the same position. after anegela leaves, the ladies roll their eyes & mock her poses. alexandra enters in a snug halter minidress straight out of 1988 & you can almost see the bluefly ladies gritting their teeth at this obvious waste of their time. they have no intention of giving the campaign to the plussie. they actually compliment her “pretty face” & say she’s be great for a beauty ad. oh snap!

back in the cage, ren wonders whether this gig is worth the steep cost of her ambiguous sanity. she seems to be taking notes while the other girls measure shoeboxes. yeah, they must be really trying. she’s gonna snap any minute & drown them all in a bathtub. she interviews that she “even misses [her] mom & [she] never misses [her] mom”–you know, the heartless succubus who made ren pay for her own collection of bowler hats.

simone walks for the bluefly ladies in a racerback tank & tulip skirt. they are almost leaping out of their chairs with joy over simone’s great look, able posing, & fierce walk. the racerback was perhaps a misstep, in that it showcases simone’s broad shoulders, & the bluefly ladies are concerned about them, but…then krista walks in & it’s tough to find nice things to say about krista. gorgeous skin & kind of an interesting slinky walk, but…come on. given the choice between simone & krista, it was a no-brainer. simone wins the challenge, campaign, & $2500 gift card. jessica scoffs & rolls her eyes–while smiling, so it can’t tell if she is actually this cycle’s “stealth bitch” quite yet. but she’s a contender when she interviews that simone is very “pageant-y”. i find simone merely competent & polite, but…that’s cool.

back at the house, the ladies cavort in their pajamas & brenda informs everyone that her room is hitting the hay in half an hour so everyone else will need to clear out. krista finally proves why she is on the show by making me laugh out loud when she asks brenda, “you own this piece?” in an interview, she calls brenda “gepetto, because that’s what she is, she’s a puppetmaster.” i’d never really considered gepetto a puppetmaster in a malevolent sense, but it’s true that he builds & masters puppets, so…yikes!

krista retires to her room with angela, alexandra, & ren, to laugh about brenda behind her back. despite the fact that both angelea & alexandra are sporting some seriously problematic locks in this scene, angelea says that brenda looks like miranda from “sex & the city” (that’s what i said!) & alexandra more aptly likens her to chucky from the “child’s play” movies. angelea, alexandra, & krista cackle, but somber, joyless ren leaves to find brenda & report this shit talking to her. look closely & you will see a tiny smile on ren’s face while she whispers in brenda’s ear. try to tell me that she doesn’t love house drama. here she is, stirring the shit.

brenda hulks out in her uniquely neurotic way, by spreading the news of these vicious insults to whoever happens to be hanging out in the kitchen. she wears an enormous knit ski cap while she does so, making her look exactly like cancer boy from “kids in the hall”. sorry, but it’s true. she employs some circuitous logic to suggest that when the other girls mock her haircut, they are really mocking tyra, because tyra chose brenda’s haircut, & that if they were really tough, they’d call tyra out on her questionable taste to her face. she also says that the other girls are saying that she is ugly, which is a bit of a leap from just laughing at her haircut. anslee interviews that she is a mom, so she’s compassionate (tell that to ren’s mom!), but she had to point out that no one actually called brenda ugly–a sensible rejoinder from methface. brenda snaps, “yes, they did. were you in the room?”

anslee brings the full force of methface to the table & is all, “you’re always doing this & you never do that, etc etc” (i’m paraphrasing). brenda retorts, “you always do this & never do that, etc etc,” (again, paraphrasing). these girls need to take a course in non-violent communication! anslee claims that she was trying to “help brenda” by showing her that no one said she was ugly, but she’s obviously letting methface out of her cage as payback for brenda flubbing the trivia challenge. brenda says that if someone called anslee ugly, she’s probably have something to say about it. i’m calling her methface. does that count? basically, their fight makes no sense. no one throws any spoons or screams, “you need to calm down the hell down” at the top of their lungs right in anyone’s ear. no one yells, “i know where you sleep, dawg!” it’s just two high-strung ladies making me weep for their innocent children. ren is undoubtedly suffering triggering flashbacks to that time when she was six & her mom made her pay for her own tootsie pop at the gas station.

the next morning, anslee “apologizes” to the other girls for potentially waking them with her yelling, but she’s really just trying to vent about how much she hates brenda. in the bathroom, ren, jessica, & raina apply make-up & ren mutters, “i have to get out of this house. i don’t care how.” may i recommend just pulling a kool-aid man right through the wall? that would definitely create a lasting impression in the minds of viewers.

the girls get a tyra mail: “top models always need 2 b in step.” they are clueless, but they know it foretells a photo shoot.

the girls meet with jay at a dance studio while a very flexible man works on a barre in the background. ominous. jay asks the girls where they get their inspiration. anslee says, “my child.” krista squawks, “my mom!” she seriously squawks, it’s hilarious. ren glowers & says, “beetlejuice beetlejuice beetlejuice!” jay’s not impressed AT ALL. he says he enjoys the theatre, museums, & ballet. that’s great, jay, but i don’t think any of these ladies is a metropolitan gay man or an upper east side dowager. hallie may have fallen into the latter category, but she was tragically cut in the semi-finals. anyway, jay explains that today’s shoot will be inspired by dance, & each girl will portray a different type of dance. the dude working on the barre is troy powell, professional dancer who has worked with the alvin ailey dance theatre, & he is there to coach each girl on poses to embody her genre of dance. they show us a few photos of troy dancing, & i gasped & said, “i just saw his countours!” ailecia nodded & said, “yup. i did too.” i got to know troy better than his proctologist knows him just then. *shriek*

brenda frets that she is not a good dancer. shocking, no? anslee tells the hair guy that she took a year of ballet when she was little. who didn’t? the make-up artist tells ren his reference point for her is diana ross. simone tells the girls that she’s been assigned hip hop & will bring the crunk. alasia praises troy’s vast stores of dance knowledge.

first on set is anslee, who is wearing a furry vest & a feathery barrette. she is a rhythm dancer, ie, one of those sad sacks that flits around with ribboned batons at olympic opening ceremonies in 1988. in practice, her ribbons get caught on her barrette. she fears that her dance genre sucks, but claims that she’s not a “complainer”. not, it’s methface that does all the complaining for anslee. jay tells anslee that he wants to see a lot of shape. she responds by standing ramrod straight & fluttering her ribbons like there’s no tomorrow. hey, anslee? i don’t think he meant that he wants to see a lot of shapes with the ribbons. you can flutter them into the outline of abraham lincoln & recite the gettysburg address, but standing there like a barber pole isn’t going to make a nice photo. jay is confused & unimpressed.

jessica is next as a salsa dancer with flowers in her bun & jay tells her she moves too much & is trying too hard to nail the salsa moves troy taught her.

backstage, troy teaches tatianna some excellent “cabaret”-style tap flourishes, but then we cut to angelea, who has been assigned “moshing”. seriously? moshing? is it 1993? are we at a slipknot concert & no one told me? & plus, her wardrobe: a plaid mini-kilt teamed with a black belly shirt, red suspenders, hideous black high-heeled gladiator boot/sandal hybrids & an off-kilter top hat, accessorized with thirty pounds of safety pins. the wardrobe dude tells angelea that moshing is about “taking your anger out on the world”. angelea tries to interpret this by jumping around a lot while looking straight down the barrel of the camera, but…how can she mosh all alone in that ridiculous outfit? ailecia & i laughed. a lot. jay tries to bait angelea into admitting that her poses about anger, but she’s a canny one & tells him that she’s thinking about pain. jay says her photos are now softer & prettier as a result. i think he got into brenda’s stash.

tatianna comes out in her tap outfit, which is strangely unflattering. she kind of looks like an orange wearing high heels. she’s dancing around & being cute though–until the camera starts snapping photos. then she gestures vaguely to one side & looks off to the other side, resembling nothing so much as 94% of all photos on myspace, now with extra headband.

alasia tells the nail tech backstage that there’s a lot of drama in the house, but she’s still happy to be there. cut to ren in a white fur stole & earrings the size of a baby giraffe, being coached on the rudiments of disco dancing. she says she hates what goes on in the house, but she loves modeling. on set, jay critiques her for bringing one face to the shoot–squinting at camera with her lips parted. jay interviews that he sees model when he looks at her, but is less inspired by her every week. she tries to do some body poses & instead resembles a coked out disco diva hovering over a toilet in studio 54 due to some bad clams. it’s atrocious. jay says, “sooner or later, i think the judges are going to tire of her her look & realize what her real ability is.” then he makes a sour face & shrugs. someone get ren an ice pack for that harsh burn!

alexandra is a breakdancer in an awful glittery bucket hat, striped bicycle shorts, & chunky colorblocked heels, posed atop a broken down pizza box. she strikes a few poses that wouldn’t look out of place in kama sutra, if you ask me, but at least she’s trying new things & bringing some shapes. jay is pleased.

raina is a jazz dancer in fabulous fringed heels, a gorgeous wrap bodice full-skirted dress, & a bowler hat nicked from ren’s closet. she mostly just hunches over while lifting her hat & jay can’t get enough.

backstage, brenda tells troy she needs a good photo. he shows her some dramatic arm moves & she titters. anslee looks on, methface in full effect. on set, we discover that brenda has been dolled up to resemble an “african” dancer. because on the entire enormous continent of africa, there is only one kind of dancing, & it involves a wrap skirt & a wreath of dead grass around one’s neck. truefax. brenda stands perfectly still & looks at the camera like she is too embarrassed to move in her outfit. it’s kind of damned if you do, damned if you don’t moment for her. if she goes too overboard trying to imitate the lesson from troy, she runs the risk of some serious cultural insensitivity. but if she plays it down too much, she’ll be criticized for not giving it her all. i’m vaguely relieved that this costume wasn’t given to one of the black contestants, but why did it have to happen at all? brenda strikes a few terribly catalogue arms-over-head poses & stands in such a way as to make her legs look about a foot long. she is only concerned about getting a shot that doesn’t make her resemble the crypt keeper’s grandma. jay tries to distract her with a trampoline, but brenda is so lacking in rhythm that she can only jump a second after jay says “jump,” & so every shot is of brenda squatting on the trampoline, poised to jump. she is comically terrible. jay openly laughs at her while methface looks on & smirks. i can only assume that brenda is totally high.

krista is a ballerina in a black leotard & tutu, lacy white tights, & baby pink toe shoes. she employs the trampoline as well, to hilariously graceless effect. she looks not unlike a chicken attempting to fly. then she does some weird poses where she is full on leg-in-the-air, crotch-to-camera, face-peeking-over-the-tutu. what is she thinking? apparently she is concerned about going en pointe & breaking her ankle. she tries to look serene. i don’t even know. she probably had the easiest dance (because it’s all about grace & elegance slowness, & everyone already understands how ballet looks), & she was a mess.

alasia interview that she is “very different” from the other girls, because she is the youngest in the house, & because she wants “to be the best,” while the others are willing to “settle for good”. so the ass-to-camera, forearm-ass-crack, backwards-vest photo was striving for excellence, as opposed to cluelessness? interesting.

simone’s outfit consists of thoroughly bedazzled short shorts & a hideous gold mini jacket that fails to entirely cover her bare breasts. she acknowledges that she was probably assigned hip hop because she’s a pageant girl & the powers that be are trying to trip her up, but she commits to her backstage practice. jay mocks her on set & says he doesn’t think she has any moves. she strikes a few poses & he tells her not to get too studied. she is so getting the cycle three kelle edit, it makes me sad. she doesn’t even have a snout to make her eventual elimination inevitably delicious. simone fails to bring energy or expression to her face & just slowly lifts the collar of her jacket while bending her knees. jay is frustrated & simone is crestfallen. jay asks her to do the running man. simone fails at that too. she cries in interview & displays some possibly compulsively perfectionistic tendencies. her shoulders are amazing.

alasia has awesomely been assigned “interpretive dance”. this hardly seems fair, because surely, as a performance artist prodigy hellbent of culture jamming the world of “ANTM” cycle 14, alasia is well-versed in interpretive dance. to even the playing field, wardrobe dressed her in nineteen yards of white eyelet lace & took away her shoes. it looks like an eight-year-old crashed the shoot. all the girls gather around to watch, anticipating major lulz. instead, alasia nails it, & the other girls frowth on the sidelines. alasia squeaks & jumps up & down in interview, wriggling all over like a puppy being offered a snausage. & that’s a wrap.

at the house, the girls receive tyra mail about the next panel meeting. one of the girls in the back hilariously reaches out & moves a hank of angelea’s enormously teased hair out of the way so as to better see the tyra mail. the girls jump & dance around & shriek in excitement as ren smirks & stands still because she’s just too fucking cool for this bullshit (in her own mind only). in the bedroom, the other girls ask ren if she still wants to go home & if she feels trapped in the house. ren sits cross-legged on her bed, hands clasped before her, & closes her eyes sadly, the weight of the world upon her slumped shoulders. she interviews, “this is the most hostile environment i have ever been put into.” someone went to quaker school. ren leaves the bedroom after others observe that she looks like she’s about to cry. brenda interviews that she may not take the best pictures, but she’d be pissed to be sent home over ren, because brenda really wants to be in the competition.

panel commences & i just need a moment to collect myself because tyra’s jumpsuit (a dim beige bedecked with illusion netting & “star trek” shoulders) has rendered me temporarily blind. first troy powell, & now i have been introduced to tyra’s countours as well. i’ll be having nightmares tonight. ALT is decked out in judicial robes & a soothsaying horn, & the guest judge is sean patterson, president of wilhelmina models (the agency that will represent the winner), dressed like gilligan, minus the fishing cap.

jessica is up first. tyra finds her salsa pose a little too “on the nose” & wishes jessica would have made it more model. ALT says that a pointed toe in an ankle strap show is “patently gauche”. sean patterson snarks that to have ALT tell you anything is patently gauche is kind of a wonderful thing. jessica doesn’t know what any of this means, but i think sean patterson has been stricken from ALT’s christmas card list this year.

the judges love raina’s shot, even though i think she should never pull her hair back in a top knot if she’s going to wear a nude lip color. it kind of makes her look like a cannibalistic human underground dweller (CHUD).

the judges criticize anslee for being waxen, not model-y, & “too conscious”. ALT says simone’s pigeon-toed pose is “patently gauche, but it works”. everyone likes it fine, except for tyra, who gets on simone’s case for not bringing movement to the photo. she asks if simone can hip hop dance & she admits that she cannot. tyra says that’s okay, as long as you can fake it for a photo. she’s totally getting the self-loathing black girl edit. tyra is a big fan of that edit, because it gives her a chance to have an oprah moment. we’ll see how this plays out.

sean patterson likes what’s happening with tatianna’s top half, but says the bottom half is not flattering. that’s an understatement. she looks like she’s giving birth. tyra acknowledges that tatianna’s film was unspeakably bad, although this shot is okay.

the judges detest brenda’s outfit. brenda describes it as “casual & simple,” but tyra points out that her pants are too short for her heels & the bell flare is unflattering. very true. brenda looks like an accountant. methface smirks in the background. sean can’t take her african dance photo seriously. brenda is leaning toward camera on one well-muscled haunch & it really is ugly & dull.

ALT is disgusted with alasia’s outfit. she is in low-rider jeans & a bulky jean jacket (that perhaps has a sweatshirt hood? is she eddie furlong in “terminator 2”?), & when ALT demands that alasia remove the jacket, her silver cut-out swimsuit is exposed to the world. ALT & tyra find this completely unacceptable, but they LOVE alasia’s photo. “gorgeous!” “lovely!” “shazam!” “your photo is as good as your outfit is bad.” tyra says, “miss alasia needs to be interpretive dance for the rest of her life.” done.

the judges like alexandra’s photo, but critique its lack of neck. angelea is dressed like someone’s mom on a patio in 1974, but the judges don’t comment. the judges love her photo. tyra also tries to bait angelea into a pre-determined edit by asking what she was thinking in the shoot. “anger at first, but toward the end of my film, i was thinking, like, pain,” angelea says. “i’m totally blown away that you just said that you tapped into an emotion there, because i have a lot of very experienced models who are just still learning that trait,” says sean patterson. i guess they don’t watch “top model”. i fear that angelea is getting a very flattering edit.

the judges like krista’s shot. nigel says her face shows “a dream”. tyra says her awkward hands make it fashion. ailecia said, “yeah, like that was at all intentional.” krista was so graceless on set, you know she lucked into that shot (which wasn’t even that good, in my opinion).

everyone hates ren’s shot, which is truly terrible. tyra asks why ren only did four poses in all her film, & ren says, “because that’s the only four poses i was taaaaaught, a heh heh,” & hangs her head coquettishly, hence sealing her fate as this week’s eliminee. the judges do not like girls who admit that they can’t innovate. nigel glares at her. ALT looks on in polite horror. tyra directly inquires if ren wants to stay in the competition. ren acknowledges that there’s a lot of drama in the house, & sean patterson basically says, “don’t waste my time, woman.” tyra attempts a cliffhanger, cutting to commercial before ren can say whether she wants to stay or go, but it’s pretty anti-climactic when you know her photo was bad enough to qualify for a booting anyway.

back from commcercial, ren says she wants to stay. anslee shakes her head & frowns. raina narrows her eyes in suspicion. the girls are dismissed so the judges can deliberate. jessica failed to wow them. sean patterson sees the same olympic theme in anslee’s rhythm dancing photo as i did & complains, “her face is going for the gold but her body doesn’t even get bronze.” simone communicates faux confidence to nigel, & she is actually confused about her assignment. “i know hip hop!” nigel enthuses. really? ALT seems to acknowledge the hideousness of alexandra’s on-set wardrobe, & praises her for taking a good photo anyway. nigel hates tatianna’s shot, but tyra likes it. but tyra also remembers how bad tatianna’s film was, so she’s conflicted. krista’s pose is expected, but beautiful. they love angelea. they detest ren’s photo. they think she held back because she’s unhappy in the “top model” loft. ALT raises a finger to the sky to decry the hideousness of brenda’s shot, & sean concurs. tyra disagrees but admits that brenda needs more “edge”. they love raina’s shot, though tyra is not wild about the bowler hat. sean loves alasia’s photo, but nigel points out that it’s just one photo, & there’s really no excuse for alasia’s in-person presentation. “she wouldn’t get past the receptionist [at wilhelmina],” nigel says. “she wouldn’t get past the lifeguard!” sean agrees. ALT says, “o ho!” & chuckles, despite the fact that sean’s joke was totally weaksauce.

the girls return. alasia get best photo & pumps air in celebration before jogging to tyra in unfastened boots. she promises never to wear her bathing suit outfit again. like tyra can talk about bad outfits when she’s dressed like a camel from “lawrence of arabia”. angelea, jessica, alexandra, krista, raina, tatianna, simone, & anslee are called, leaving ren & brenda in the bottom two. tyra suggests that ren lacks the desire for the competition, & ren agrees. she says she likes modeling, but that she thinks she’s on the show for the wrong reasons. she elaborates that her mom is a big “ANTM” fan & started being nice to ren after ren was chosen for the show. this is seriously ridonkulous. imagine if your problems with your mom could only be solved by going on a modeling-themed reality TV show. i don’t even have words. tyra humors herbriefly, but it’s obvious to all that ren is trying to play on tyra’s oprah fantasies. tyra finally cuts her off & busts our brenda’s photo. she announces that brenda will be getting another make-over because her current look makes her look like a soccer mom. brenda joins the other girls, & tyra tells ren to have a heart-to-heart with her mom. ren nods & leaves without hugging anyone.

in the closing interview, ren says that she “stayed so long” solely because it gave her the attention & love that she wanted from her mother. uh…three weeks isn’t “so long,” & ren is playing it off like she chose to leave. which maybe she kind of did at the end, but it looked like tyra had already decided to get rid of her. who knows for sure–this shit is edited to within an inch of its life. but it still seems obvious to me that ren is doing some serious scrambling to save face. she should start a club with hallie, she who insisted she had to quit semi-finals due to medical reasons & certainly would have been in the house under other circumstances. ren & her camo duffel depart.

next week, the girls are made up to look like vampires. seriously?…okay, then.

Published by Ciara

Ciara Xyerra wrote zines for the better part of two decades. She has a brilliant & adorable preschooler named Ramona & sews as much as she possibly can. She lives in Lawrence, Kansas with her boyfriend. She enjoys catching up on "The New Yorker", meatball subs, keeping it cranky, intersectional post-third wave feminism, dinosaurs, & monsters. If you have nothing nice to say, she recommends that you come sit here by her, so you can say not-nice things together.

2 thoughts on “all aboard the fat bus

    1. i can’t believe kahlen has big huge neck tattoos now. what was she thinking? i am all for tattoos, but neck tattos are possibly the worst, ugliest idea in the world. oh well.

      do you really think this is the worst batch of girls ever? i think the last few seasons have been pretty questionable. there are a few girls in this group that could maybe actually work (simone, jessica, maaaaaaybe raina). there are some real duds in the bunch, to be sure (anslee? krista? tatianna?), but it’s still early in the game.

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